From left, Alabama Music Hall of Fame board member Judy Hood; BCA 2015 Chairman Marty Abroms; Rick Hall; and, Jimmy Johnson, Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section musician and former AMHOF board member, at Chairman’s Award presentation during 2015 Chairman’s Dinner.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Jan. 2, 2018) – Rick Hall, an American music legend and recipient of the 2015 Business Council of Alabama’s Chairman’s Award, died at his home in Muscle Shoals today following a battle with cancer, the TimesDaily reported. He was 85.
Hall, who helped pioneer the legendary Shoals music industry and owned FAME recording studio, was the 2015 Chairman’s Dinner guest of 2015 BCA Chairman Marty Abroms, president and managing shareholder of Abroms & Associates P.C. in Florence.
“Rick Hall was instrumental in putting us on the map in terms of the music industry because of his vision, his drive to be a perfectionist, and, as importantly, his competitive nature,” Abroms said Tuesday. “Those traits served him and our Shoals music industry well during those very significant years. He took advantage or our enormous talent of artists and studio musicians and put them together for thousands of recordings.”
In addition to the Chairman’s Award that was co-awarded to The Swampers, Hall also signed his autobiography, “The Man from Muscle Shoals: My Journey from Shame to Fame,” for Chairman’s Dinner guests.
BCA President and CEO William J. Canary extended condolences to Hall’s family. “There is a great loss today in Alabama of a dynamic leader who forever will leave his mark on the music industry,” Canary said.
“His book convinced me that there are mystical waters spreading musical threads through Muscle Shoals, its music, and its people for the benefit of the world,” Canary said. “His memory will live on forever in his music as will the ‘Magic Wall’ which came to life with the release of the documentary film, ‘Muscle Shoals.’”
Hall was a record producer, songwriter, music publisher, and musician for more than 50 years and, with studio musicians known as The Swampers, recorded many of the world’s greatest black and white artists such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James, the Rolling Stones, Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, George Jones, Otis Redding, and Roy Orbison. FAME-recorded artists sold millions of copies of their works during the years.
“Rick Hall and the Swampers put Muscle Shoals on the musical map and built what is known as the Muscle Shoals Sound and a legacy that will last for generations,” Abroms said when presenting the award.
Hall was featured in the 2013 award-winning documentary “Muscle Shoals.” He was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1985.
“With the Chairman’s Award, it was really a tribute of thanks to Rick Hall and his story that was told to a much greater audience,” Abroms said. “It gave BCA and me a chance to tell a lot of people in Alabama what happened here in The Shoals and has provided us with the opportunity to tell the continuing story of the great musical talent we continue to create and promote.”
Hall was a guest on Larry King Now in 2014 and talked about the numerous artists he worked with.
“Rick was known internationally and was a great ambassador for us during his time in the music industry,” Abroms said. “I really believe to the day he died he wanted people to respect the music he and others in the Shoals helped create that has stood the test of time. He was never quite satisfied. And that was what made him and the music he helped create so great. ”